What is Growth Hacking?

What is Growth Hacking?

Going from nobody status to the height of notoriety online is rarely a quick ascent. However, it’s more than possible if you know the ins and outs of an obscure discipline known as growth hacking. Unlike traditional marketing, growth hacking takes a different approach to the problem of making the broader public aware of your greatness. If you’d like to know more about growth hacking in general, keep on reading.

What Is Growth Hacking?

Long story short, growth hacking is a way to achieve specific promotional goals through the use of a detailed plan paired with advanced analytics. According to Sean Ellis, a growth hacker extraordinaire, the success of growth hacking is measured by its “potential impact on scalable growth.” In other words, growth hacking is all about supercharging general marketing techniques to the nth degree. Growth hacking requires three things: creativity, promotion and measurement.

Why It’s All the Rage

For many businesses, the best thing about growth hacking is that it can achieve surprising results despite a lack of a massive marketing budget. You don’t even necessarily need to be a marketing guru to take advantage of it. All you need is an eye for what works and the ability or nerve to quickly capitalize on certain tactics. Oftentimes, these tactics include social media and viral marketing.

Common Tactics & Tricks

Growth hacking is all about finding fans and followers, developing them into customers and lastly retaining them over the long haul. Many tactics can be used to achieve these ends. For one, social media networking is a big draw. Retargeting older content to appeal to new crowds is likewise quite important. In addition, guest blogging and CRM automation are critical ingredients in any growth hacking recipe. As long as you’re pushing people into the customer acquisition funnel without seeming to forward, you’re on the right track.

Caveats & Pitfalls to Avoid

Though growth hacking is a terrific idea in theory, it’s hard to execute in actual practice. Many screw up their approach by focusing on growth without an end goal of profitability. Another big faux pas is relying entirely on high-profile endorsements or social media juice without having the goods to back it up. Lastly, shooting for an exponential rather than gradual and consistent rise in popularity can lead to a quick burnout a la Myspace.

The Best Resources to Learn From

To become a real growth hacker, it’s key to use what others already know to improve your odds of success. For instance, sites like GrowthHackers can provide you with a good, firm grasp of the fundamentals. In addition, reading Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising will provide for a solid introduction to the basics and really help. Finally, look at Quick Sprout’s Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking for more information.

Doing It the Right Way

Forget glitz or “cool factor” when it comes to achieving growth hacking success. Simple, proven techniques like SEO and A/B testing go a long way towards ensuring that growth hacking goes the distance. Ultimately, it’s more of a mindset than a structured system for web marketing. Don’t think that you can use a viral shortcut like Reddit to propel yourself to the top. Focus instead on true innovation and you’ll win eventually.

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